In Part II of this blog series, the Gospel of John, invites us to watch Jesus taunt the ancient serpent. He goads the devil that hides behind timekeeping images. He reveals the accusatory nature of its voice, diminishes its authority, and exposes the idolatrous worship of the lesser government. Jesus repeatedly provokes those who listened to its voice, elevated its authority, and worshiped the images where the satan hides.Read more
How did Jesus understand the spiritual interplay between the eternal and temporal realms of time? Was he able to make clear distinctions between the greater government of eternality, and the lesser government of the human clock? We cannot know for certain, yet John’s gospel suggests that he had full knowledge of both realms. Over and over again John tells us Jesus claimed a sense of ownership regarding time. Jesus said, “MY hour.”
The word, church, has become a 6-letter word that some people have chosen to hate. For many the word, church, is now associated with a fair measure of emotional, spiritual, and psychological trauma or abuse. They are no longer willing to remain quiet about the trauma they’ve experienced. This is as it should be. All forms of abuse must be brought into the light, as we consider the future of the Christian faith, and the purpose of the church.
What is your personal credo? Have you thought about creating a statement that defines who you are, what you believe, and how you see yourself interacting with the world? Many of us have been given such statements based on religious identity. Yet when people choose to shed the traditional creeds attached to denominational doctrine, or the beliefs associated with non-denominational movements, one’s tribal identity and credo is also shed.
“Come to him, a living stone though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house,” I Peter 2:4-5. Hmmm. What does it mean to be a living stone that can be built into a spiritual house? Perhaps the best clue is found by ignoring the chapter breaks in the Bible and consider what the writer said just before he mentioned the living stones.
People wonder if Christianity can survive the major spiritual shift, away from religion, currently underway around the world. Oh yes! Not only can Christianity survive—the heart of the gospel will begin to beat like never before. The human spirit is just waking up to an increase of light filtering into crevices formed by the earthquake rattling the walls of our institutional structures.Read more
The idea of biblical inerrancy is one of the most invasive weeds in Christianity’s wheatfield. The weed might produce lovely looking flowers wherever it is allowed to grow, but the notion of inerrancy ultimately chokes out the inherent goodness of the Bible. Notice the defining difference between biblical inerrancy and the inherent goodness of the Bible.
Every year I think to myself, “Will this be the year when hearts and minds awaken to a new image of the church universal?” I hope so, but reality suggests that this year will go by just like the ones before it. A lot of talk about the need for change, but no concrete steps taken, and no apparent interest in discussing the organizational vision Jesus first demonstrated, namely, The Way of human net making.
Many faithful church goers are familiar with Jesus’ parable of the man who owns 100 sheep, and loses 1 of them. It is thought to be a lesson about the great lengths God, and by association, Christians, will go to bring 1 lost sheep back to the fold of church membership. This surface understanding often causes churchgoers to see themselves as the 99 good, faithful, obedient sheep who stay close to their owner.
In an endeavor to approach the study of the bible with some degree of consistency, biblical scholars developed criteria known as “historical criticism” to guide the study. During my time as a member of the Society of Biblical Scholarship, I heard scholars discussing whether or not we’ve come to an end of what can be gleaned through the historical critical lens.